De La Hoya Stops Mayorga, Eyes Farewell Fight In September

By Francis Walker
Updated: May 8, 2006

NEW YORK — Oscar De La Hoya was sharp. He looked tremendous during his sixth-round TKO of WBC junior middleweight championship from Ricardo Mayorga. 13,000 strong at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV witnessed first-hand De La Hoya’s finest performance in nearly four years.

The victory not only allows De La Hoya to become a champion again at 154 pounds, but it allows the “Golden Boy” to end his career as a winner. Unlike the image of his previous fight when he was knocked out by a body-punch to the liver while challenging Bernard Hopkins.

“I was on the canvas in my last fight,” De La Hoya said prior to his fight with Mayorga. “I can picture myself on the canvas with Hopkins almost every night. I want that erased.”

De La Hoya (38-4, 30 KOs) hand picked Mayorga(28-6-1, 23 KOs), a two-division champion, known for his tirades. He smokes cigarettes and drinks beer before and after fights. Mayorga even eats an apple during weigh-ins for his bouts. Mayorga, 32, Managua, Nicaragua, even insults his opponents, especially De La Hoya, 33, Montebello, CA,

“I told him that I was going to make him pay for what he said and I did,” De La Hoya said.

De La Hoya was eager to makes Mayorga pay for the remarks he made about De La Hoya’s family, race, and his determination to fight. The last fighter to have challenged De La Hoya’s manhood was Fernando Vargas (Sept. 2002). Vargas ended-up getting knocked out in the eleventh-round.

Unlike the Vargas fight, it took De La Hoya, the more focused and much better boxer, less than a minute into the contest to drop Mayorga with a sharp left hook.

“I was so motivated for this fight,” De La Hoya said. “I wanted to prove to him and to everybody else that I was not going to back down from Ricardo Mayorga.”

De La Hoya continued his dominance by landing the faster, sharper punches while Mayorga swung wildly as expected. De La Hoya often kept his poise landing left jabs and fast combinations tom Mayorga’s body who eventually would be warned for rabbit-punching in the fifth round.

In the sixth, De La Hoya knocked Mayorga down for the second time following a vicious flurry of punches. Mayorga returned to his feet, but De La Hoya showed no mercy finished off Mayorga for the knockout at the 1:25 mark.

“I never wanted to knock someone out so bad like this. It is so satisfying,” said De La Hoya who already has penciled in September 16, as his farewell fight.

De La Hoya’s Future

The short list of possible opponents for De La Hoya to meet on September 16, include Winky Wright, providing he can get past undefeated middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, who twice defeated Hopkins last year to end his 10-year grasp of the world middleweight championship. For years, Wright was considered to be dangerous southpaw who is a strong boxer and is difficult to beat.

Wright has defeated the opponents that De La Hoya was unable to beat: Shane Mosley (twice) and Felix Trinidad. Mosley and Trinidad both combine for three of De La Hoya’s four professional losses.

De La Hoya has also mentioned a rematch of the biggest non-heavyweight fight in boxing pay per view history by challenging Trinidad. In September 1999, De La Hoya boxed the finest eight rounds in the biggest fight of his career. De La Hoya, shockingly danced circles around the ring, and lost a disputed 12-round majority decision.

De La Hoya’s legacy is always directed to the final four rounds of the Trinidad fight and beating “Tito” could allow De La Hoya to regain some redemption.

De La Hoya has also mentioned world welterweight champion, Floyd Mayweather as a possible opponent. Mayweather is undefeated and his father, Floyd Mayweather, Sr. trains De La Hoya. It will be a very interesting and compelling fight between the “Golden Boy” and “Pretty Boy”

“I don’t plan on fighting much longer,” De La Hoya said. “Maybe one more major fight. Who knows?”

Oscar knows he wants one more fight and he does not want to put himself in a position in which he’s the old man fighting opponents of the younger generation. De La Hoya is at the point where he’s nearing end of his career, but only a great fighter has what it takes to beat him which will be no easy task.

Wright and Trinidad are the fighters of De La Hoya’s generation. Mayweather began his professional career four years after De La Hoya’s and is at the peak of his career. Mayweather is a smaller fighter than Trinidad and Wright and De La Hoya’s most dominant fights during his prime were against fighters moving up in weight to fight him.

Also, perhaps more importantly, a De La Hoya-Mayweather fight will be the biggest boxing event since De La Hoya-Hopkins which generated approximately 1 million pay per view buys at $49.99 each (do the math).